Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

We left yesterday morning to go out of town and just got back but I wanted to pop in to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

A New Year Prayer
Holy Father,
God of our yesterdays, our today, and our tomorrows.
We praise You for Your unequaled greatness.
Thank You for the year behind us and for the year ahead.
Help us in Your new year, Father, to fret less and laugh more.
To teach our children to laugh by laughing with them.
To teach others to love by loving them.
Knowing, when Love came to the stable in Bethlehem, He came for us.
So that Love could be with us, and we could know You.
That we could share Love with others.
Help us, Father, to hear Your love song in every sunrise,
in the chriping of sparrows in our backyards,
in the stories of our old folks, and the fantasies of our children.
Help us to stop and listen to Your love songs,
so that we may know You better and better.
We rejoice in the world You loved into being.
Thank You for another new year and for new chances every day.
We pray for peace, for light, and for hope, that we might spread them to others.
Forgive us for falling short this past year.
We leave the irreparable past in your hands, and step out into the unknown new year knowing You will go with us.
We accept Your gift of a new year and we rejoice in what's ahead, depending on You to help us do exactly what You want..

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog and leave a comment. It's been so fun to be back and it's all thanks to you all! May the New Year year bring you all health and happiness.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

That's not me!

I love the idea of starting the new year all organized, everything in place and clean don't you? While that's a lovely goal it's really not something that's doable (for me at any rate). I've barely kept the house clean from Thanksgiving through now! Most of it was decorated and looked pretty but only I know that I hadn't really deep cleaned anything in a month. I think I washed the kitchen floor about 2 times in all that time (bad I know)!

I'm so glad the holidays are over even though we enjoyed them. I need to get back to running my home properly. I've felt a bit disconnected from my job as a homemaker these last few months. All the craziness of the holidays and the lack of a real schedule contributed to this feeling. I've felt sort of out of control during this time - the budget, the housekeeping, preparation of our meals, taking care of myself, all those things need to get back on track. Not only just back on track but hopefully I'll be able to do a better job this coming year - at least I'm going to try!

Let's see where to start........maybe here?

That's my little craft/sewing area in our family room and it definitely needs help! I'm going to be working on our entire family room all January but particularly this area as I can't sit down to do anything there and I can't find anything! Although, first things first - I'm packing up all the Christmas decorations today and I'm going to do a better job at it than last year. I'm going to label my boxes and put things away in a way that makes more sense to me.

Some craft space inspiration from Pottery Barn. I'm going to IKEA on Friday as we have a store credit we have to use, so I'll see what I can find there.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Red Candle Holders

Did anyone besides me go to the thrift store for after Christmas sales? I found these pretty red candle holders for $1.51.

I love red all year round, so these will fit into my normal decorating!

Some of the online after Christmas sales were better than the brick and mortar sales. I got that beautiful folk art candle online here at 75% off - it was only $3.50. I couldn't believe that Target was only at 50% off! So many stores were doing 60-70% off even before Christmas! There was quite a lot left so I only bought a couple of things there since I know they'll be marked down again and it wasn't anything I couldn't live without. So if it's gone when I go back it's o.k.!

(edited to add - I bought the candle a few days before Christmas and received it on Christmas Eve and shipping was really good too!)

Friday, December 26, 2008

What Are Your Top 5 Financial Goals for 2009?

~Dave Ramsey

Hi there! I hope everyone had lovely Christmas - we did! But I'm already thinking about putting all the decorations away - I'm really not a Grinch...really! I just feel claustrophobic with so much stuff in a small space. It feels messy to me. I want to start organizing and getting ready for what will be a fabulous New Year (I always have such hope)! I'm working on tweaking our budget for next year and setting some goals - financial and personal. I thought I'd list my financial goals for 2009 (it's never too early to start thinking about what you want to accomplish next year).

My top 5 are:

  1. Build our Emergency Fund (for unexpected events like job loss, car problems, furnace goes out - that kind of thing) to 6 months. We currently have two months saved. - Dave Ramsey advises you pay the minimum on consumer debt until you have $1,000 saved - that's your baby emergency fund. Then you start tackling your consumer debt. Once that is payed off, you concentrate on building a full emergency fund that's 3-6 months of basic living expenses. In talking to our mortgage broker about refinancing, I happened to mention that we don't really have anyone to rely on if my husband loses his job - both sets of our parents have passed away. We do have a cousin we could ask for help in case of a dire emergency but honestly, everyone always comes to us if they need something so unless we have a pretty substantial savings account there really isn't anyone who could help us out financially.

  2. Save for a minor bathroom remodel - we're pretty sure we'll be selling this house next year and there are a few things that need to be done. We did one bathroom a few years ago, this year we'll tackle one more and the other we'll probably just have to leave as is.

  3. Save for 1 week at Savannah College of Art & Design Summer session for daughter. This is the college our daughter really wants to go to and it would be a wonderful opportunity for her to attend a summer session.

  4. Make & Stick to a budget - I make one every month but I have a really hard time sticking to it! If I actually was able to stick to a budget I might be able to get goals 1-3 accomplished. I'm thinking I might post either weekly or monthly how I'm doing. I need help with motivation!!

  5. Give more - Being honest here - if I didn't always buy so much "stuff" for the house or crafts we would have more money to donate. So I some how have to find a happy medium because we really would like to give more - not just of our time but of our money. Every day you hear about how the food pantries don't have enough to feed people and how organizations don't have enough funds to do their good work. Yet, I have to have beautiful surroundings and I have to be able to express my creativity, so there's the rub. How to do it all on a limited budget. I'm hoping that the magic word here is budget!

What financial goals are you working toward in 2009?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I'd like to thank my dear bloggy friend Jennifer ( Fiddle Dee Dee) for the Christmas Spirit Award and I'm suppose to share 5 Things That I Love About Christmas:

  1. I love decorating our Christmas tree together with the Christmas music playing and our traditional eggnog drink. Unfortunately my 16 year old is too big to sit on her Dad's shoulder to put the topper on top. All she has to do is stand on her tip toes now...sigh.
  2. I love that my daughter is off from school for two whole weeks and I get to spend everyday with her. She'll be a senior next year so each moment together becomes more and more precious.
  3. I love driving around and seeing everyone's Christmas lights.
  4. I love us all watching Christmas movies together.
  5. I love all the baking and eating even though I know come January I'm going to be really really sorry I baked and ate all those goodies!

I'd also like to thank sweet Melissa (Little Things In Life) for the Butterfly Award and the oh so talented Tracey (Frugal Luxuries By The Seasons) for the Lemonade Award. I have the awards listed on my sidebar if y'all would like to see them. I really am honored that you dear ladies thought of me, thank you so much!

The other day I got a special gift in the mail from dear Linda, Bluegate Blog! Look at what she sent me - just because she knows I heart red transferware and she didn't want to break them up. I'm sure you all know what a very talented mosaic artist she is, if not, do check out her blog! Aren't they gorgeous! I just love them. They're going right into my china cupboard. Thank you so much Linda - you are the sweetest!

I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas! I will be taking some time to enjoy my family and will be back after Christmas when the two things I'll be working on will be re-working our budget for next year and organizing my craft area!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Last Few Christmas Pictures

I've really enjoyed all the various holiday home tours and got some great new ideas for next year. I'm only about 1/3 of the way through BooMama's Tour though! I think she had about a kagillion people sign up!

Here are just a couple more Christmas pictures I thought I'd share and then I'm done!

This is our doggie Christmas tree topper. He looks just like our Golden Maxie!Below are a few favorite ornaments.

My daughter and I made a bunch of these ragball ornaments one year when we were homeschooling. I think we were studying early American history and this was one of our activities tied into what we were learning. They're really fun and easy (but messy) to make. You just take strips of old clothing or fabric dip the strips in a mixture of white glue and water and drape around a Styrofoam ball (Dollar Tree has some) until the ball is totally covered. They take about a day to dry. Like I said, a fun but messy project to do with the kids.

I went through an amber/topaz phase for a few years - still don't know why. But I like this one because it looks like jewelry (a big dangly earring maybe).

How about that catmoose! We must have been watching alot of Cat Dog on Nickelodeon the year when we made clay ornaments!

As you can tell, our tree is pretty much a mix of a lot of different ornaments! Each with a story to tell.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Holiday Open House - Guest Bedroom

I couldn't resist joining Kimba in her open house. Be sure to head to her place for more party fun (all these parties should keep everyone busy for the rest of the month)!

I thought I'd show a few shots of our guestbedroom. Actually it's half office and half bedroom - so you'll only see the bed part cause my office part is in no way meant to be seen by any other human!

We're not having any overnight guests this Christmas so I was able to have a little fun with the bed!

I made the button cone and the green garland cones last year.

I made the blackboard from an old picture I found at the thrift store. I'm sure I didn't pay more than a dollar and change for it. The frame isn't even wood. This is the before:

I took it apart and sprayed the picture with primer then I painted it with chalkboard paint. Sprayed the frame with one of my many cans of Ivory Bisque spray paint that I got on clearance at Home Depot and put it all together - so easy. You don't even need to cut a board or anything. Just try to reuse the picture in the frame.

For more Christmas in my home please check out these related posts:

Christmas Home Tour 2008
A Birdhouse Christmas

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Home Tour 2008

Welcome to BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes as well as Southern Hospitality's Open House. This is my first year to participate in a open house and I'm so delighted to have you come by. I have coffee and cranberry Stollen ready. Or would you prefer tea? O.K., let's go - I'm so excited to show you around!

I think we'll start in the dining room.

This is my centerpiece. I usually decorate in red, lime green & white but this year I felt glittery. So I tried to incorporate some shiny & glittery into my Christmas decorating.

This is my black china cabinet. I can't even remember the original color as I've painted it a couple of times but I really like the black. The silver with the black looks so nice.

This tree is trimmed with teacup, teapot, tureen ornaments and I threw in a few transferware demitasse cups that I had.

That's it for the dining room. But peek out into the screened in porch to see some of what I did out there. It's too cold to go out there today!

Let me show you the living room now. There's definiately more red and lime green in this room!

That's a pillow made from a vintage tablecloth and it has lime green pom pom fringe (my favorite)! Next to it are my paperwhites that I planted a few weeks ago. They grow pretty fast!

That's a dollar store foam snowflake on the red table. I just couldn't find the right place to hang and I thought let me try it on that table...and it works!

That's our "W" wreath above the sofa. I love incorporating letters and sayings in my decor. It was originally a plain evergreen wreath and I added the Christmas balls last year. I put a red toile blanket over the wicker chest that serves as our coffee table. I don't know about you, but I can always use extra storage!

This is my white hutch filled with transferware (which I LOVE)! Toile and transferware - I can never have too much of either!

Lastly, here's my fireplace mantel. I painted and glittered the star on the mirror. I used some of my mercury glass collection, some dollar store pieces (the small cones), and some items I already had. I love all that shinyness!

Whew, I don't know about you but I'm pooped! I think we better stop now and have a look at the other decorations later!

Thanks so much for stopping by. I enjoyed showing you around and I hope I see you again!